This month there was a theme for our photography competition and the theme was Footwear. All month I became obsessed with people’s feet and with shoes in general. I had some ideas to set some shots up; like going to the fire station and taking pictures of one of the guys from the boots down, or finding a school of dance and shooting children’s ballet slippers. I toyed with the idea of asking my facebook friends if any of their daughters had a pair of the cute plastic rain boots they make for little girls these days that they would model for me.
I considered going to shoe stores and shooting footwear from inside and as a matter of fact during a trip to Georgetown I did some window shopping that lead me into a shoe store. None of them came out interesting enough, though.
While in Georgetown there was an ice skating rink next to the restaurant where we had planned to dine. I took a lot of pictures there of the skaters, of windows (naturally), of skates and of lots of people’s feet in their skates, of shoes lying on the ground,etc., etc. I thought I had an award winner a couple of times. The first shot I was enamored with came out too blurry and gray when printed. Even when I converted it to black and white it didn’t possess the sharpness I craved.
Another shot I had high hopes for wouldn’t print correctly including the entire scene I wanted to submit. The printer kept cropping my photo in a way that did not depict the art I was trying to portray. Sometimes I think printers are like editors and know nothing about art only what will fit in their ____ (fill in the blank).
Finally I settled on two of the pictures I thought were okay but different. One I actually wanted to do in a blue monochrome and matte it in a baby blue matte but I could never find the color matte I wanted. I really held out little hope for either of these shots.
The other of a child learning to skate with the help of a “skating penguin”.
My hopes laid in one of the very first pictures I took at the beginning of the month. It was a shot of my 20 year olds work boots lying on the living room floor. As a color picture it was just okay but when I converted it to black and white and played with the contrasts and shadows I became fairly convinced I had a winner.
In the manufacturing plant where I work there was recently a serious layoff. In the parking lot hanging in a tree soon after I found a pair of steel toed boots. I don’t know the story behind those boots but if and when I get my walking papers I am hanging my boots up in a tree in the parking lot.
I took a lot of pictures of those boots hanging in that tree. I took some in the morning, at night, with snow on them and from almost every angle that this old girl can shoot from. I narrowed it down to two shots and thought for sure I had my second winner.
Well obviously my first month was beginners luck because I struck out all the way around this month. The only shot that was even mentioned even if it was honorably was the one black and white of my row of skates, the one I would have preferred to turn in the blue version of.
The saddest part of not placing with the two photographs I was proud of, besides all the time and money I spent on this little project was that 1) my son loved the picture of his boots and I would have been in high heaven if he could have bragged that it was a winning shot and 2) I would have loved to tell the story of the hanging boots to the other photographers. I think if I could have told that story they would have given me the prize and that young lady with her shots of cowboy boots that swept the competition would have boot scooted and boogied on home empty handed instead of me.
Oh well, there is always next month. I don’t think I will try as hard, that strategy didn’t pan out.